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Vandenberg Space Wing's senior enlisted member honored

Chief Master Sgt. Ryan Peterson, 30th Space Wing command chief, addresses a crowd of Team V members during his going-away event at Cocheo Park May 12. Base senior leaders and more than 50 members of Team V gathered at Cocheo Park to honor the 30th Space Wing's most senior enlisted member. Peterson will be stepping-down moving-on to be the command chief at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, at the end of May.(U.S. Air Force photo by/Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello)

Chief Master Sgt. Ryan Peterson, 30th Space Wing command chief, addresses a crowd of Team V members during his going-away event at Cocheo Park May 12. Base senior leaders and more than 50 members of Team V gathered at Cocheo Park to honor the 30th Space Wing's most senior enlisted member. Peterson will be stepping-down moving-on to be the command chief at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, at the end of May.(U.S. Air Force photo by/Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello)

VANDENBERG AIR BASE, Calif. -- Base senior leaders and more than 50 members of Team V gathered at Cocheo Park May 12 to honor the 30th Space Wing's most senior enlisted member.

Command Chief Master Sergeant Ryan Peterson will be stepping-down moving-on to be the command chief at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, at the end of May.

Though Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, isn't happy to see his right-hand-man leave, he expressed excitement for the next step in the chief's career.

"We talk about bittersweet moments when we have to say farewell to those who PCS away from our team. This is certainly one of those moments," Balts said. "There are lots of qualities wing commanders look for when we hire command chiefs-- we think about someone who would be a good advisor, an effective communicator, and an exemplar leader of and for our Airmen. Chief Peterson's personal and professional advice to me was absolutely outstanding and I'm incredibly thankful for everything that he's done for Team Vandenberg. I'm also excited to hear about the amazing thing he'll do at
Davis-Monthan AFB."

The wing commander wasn't the only person who expressed gratitude for the chief's mentorship.

"First Sergeants can sometimes be fast out of out of the gate," said Master Sgt. Christopher Gremling, 532nd Training Squadron first sergeant and Vandenberg First Sergeant's Council president. "Thank you for your direction, leadership and knowing when to let us spin our wheels or take action."

Though plenty of other Airmen from across the installation had their own adages and sentiments to say about Vandenberg's command chief, the common thread was thankfulness - and that thread was reciprocal.

"The most important thing to say at an event like this is to thank those folks who have not only been a help to me but the base itself," Peterson said. "I'd like to start by thanking our community partners, through them we are able to do so much for our Airmen and their families."

The chief also thanked those Airmen on base whose position is to be a liaison between Airmen, their families and the commanders.

"I also couldn't have done my job successfully without the first sergeants: the first sergeants at the wing are the commander's eyes and ears. I think we've got a bunch of great first sergeants here -- they're the ones taking the pulse of the unit and providing the commander the information that influences where the wing needs to go," Peterson said.

He also felt the peer-to-peer mentorship he received through other chief master sergeants on base was a guiding hand during his residency as Vandenberg's Command Chief.

"My fellow chiefs - couldn't have done it without you all," Peterson said. "Coming into this job, nothing truly prepares you to be a command chief. Your council and mentorship has prepared me and I really appreciate all that the chiefs have done and your candid and blunt feedback has been appreciated as well."

Peterson ended the event thanking his family and the 30 SW front office, including the command and vice commander.

"I'd also like to thank my executive assistants and the entire front office; I couldn't do my job without them because they allow me to focus on critical and strategic issues that require my attention. They are in larger part what has made me a success. Colonel Balts and Colonel McArthur, I've been appreciated working with you and your wise council. I appreciate you giving me the flexibility i need to operate. Finally, my wife, hunter and mom -- I think every chief will tell you that when you become a chief the demands on your time increase exponentially. Thank you for understanding my schedule and I couldn't have done it without you."